Illinois State University will be celebrating Homecoming from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, with a special tree-lighting event in Uptown Normal on Sept. 25. Events range from a carnival and royalty crowning to tailgating for the 2 p.m. Redbird football kickoff Saturday, Oct. 4, in Hancock Stadium.

A guide is available to be downloaded on the Guidebook mobile application to follow the events. This free app, available through a smartphone user’s application store, automatically updates with the latest information. Once the app is installed, users should search for Illinois State Homecoming Guide. It is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and web-enabled devices.

Details of events are available online at All events are open to the public free, unless a fee is noted.

Following are some highlights:

Sept. 25
The Lighting Ceremony – 6 to 7:30 p.m., Illinois State President Larry Dietz and Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos will hold a special tree-lighting event to help kick off Homecoming with the lighting of Uptown Normal in red and white. Music and entertainment will begin at 6 p.m. The lights, funded jointly by Redbird Pride and the Town of Normal, will illuminate Uptown at dusk.

Sept. 29
Homecoming Kickoff – 6 to 8 p.m. on the Quad, a fun event for the Illinois State community with food, music and the announcement of the Homecoming Court. (Rain location: Bone Student Center, Brown Ballroom)

Sept. 28
Reggie Day at Miller Park Zoo – Starting at 10 a.m., visit with Reggie Redbird and the other animals. There will be giveaways and Reggie will be available for pictures. Cost is zoo admission.

Oct. 1
Homecoming Carnival – Starting at 7 p.m., games and a performance by the Gamma Phi Circus on the first floor of the Bone Student Center.

Oct. 3
Alumni Day Luncheon – Noon to 2 p.m., there will be a luncheon for alumni in the Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center. Those wishing to attend need to contact Alumni Relations at 438-2586. The cost for the meal is $15.

Redbird Rendezvous – 6:30 to 9 p.m., students are invited to attend the crowning of the 2014 Homecoming King and Queen at a Homecoming formal, which will feature a DJ and hors d’oeuvres in the Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center.

Oct. 4
Town and Gown 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk – Starting at 8 a.m. there will be a 5K and 1 – mile fun run/walk. Register for the race on the homecoming web page.

Homecoming Parade – Starting at 10 a.m., the annual Homecoming parade will begin on the corner of College Avenue and University Street. Information on road closures and parking is available at

Redbird Football vs. South Dakota State – Kickoff at 2 p.m., the Redbird football team takes on South Dakota State University at Hancock Stadium. There will be Alumni tailgating before the game starting at 11 a.m., in various locations around Hancock Stadium. More information is available at the Homecoming website or on the mobile app.

Rally Bash – 6 to 9 p.m., Illinois State will be hosting the first ever Rally Bash. There will be appetizers and a cash bar in the Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center. The Bygones will also be providing live music. Tickets are $3 at the door.

For more information on Homecoming events contact Alumni Relations at (309) 438-2586 or at or go to